Thursday, July 16, 2015

Caprese Pasta Salad

My husband and I went to a BBQ with friends last weekend and I was in need of a side dish.  I was looking for a simple and fresh recipe that required little time to prepare. I had a bag full of ripe cherry tomatoes on my counter and a garden full of basil. Naturally, the first thing that came to mind was a caprese salad, however I wanted something more filling, that would feed a crowd. I decided carbs were the answer, so I went straight to the store to buy some pasta, and a few other ingredients. 


I took a little short cut for this recipe with the bacon. I didn’t have time for frying, so I bought some Hormel real crumbled bacon.  This did just the trick given the time crunch I was in. I also decided last minute to add chopped black olives. You can’t see them in the photo, because I literally added them right before I walked out the door.

 I knew that I needed some sort of liquid substance to bring all of this together. I thought about using regular balsamic, but I didn’t want it to be too tangy and I also wanted it to be a bit creamy. I came across the Bolthouse Farms Creamy Balsamic while I was in the grocery store, and decided that’s exactly what I needed. It had the perfect tangy, creamy balance that I was looking for. Side note, I’m obsessed with all of the Bolthouse dressings. They are made with yogurt and are a lot better for you than most dressings. Our fridge always has at least one bottle, and all of my salads are now topped with these healthy and flavorful dressings. Two of my favorites are Ranch and Caesear Parmigiano. They are seriously so good; you won’t even miss those regular high calorie dressings.
It’s simple, quick and delicious! Enjoy!


Caprese Pasta Salad
Ingredients
1 box Farfalle pasta
1 package cherry tomatoes
1 packaged fresh mozzarella pearls
1 handful of fresh basil
1/2 cup of  package of crumbled real bacon bits 
1 small can of chopped black olives (optional)
Bolthouse Farms Creamy Balsamic Dressing
Sea Salt
Pepper

Instructions
1.     Cook the entire box of pasta according to the directions.
2.     Once cooked, drain and let cool. Then pour to a large serving bowl.
3.     Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and add to the pasta.
4.     Add the whole package of fresh mozzarella pearls and crumbled bacon.
5.     Chop a handful of fresh basil and add to the pasta. (Save some for garnishing the top.)
6.     Season with salt and pepper to taste.
7.     Top with enough dressing to coat the pasta to your preference and mix well.
8.     Garnish the top with the remaining basil. 

2 comments:

  1. Oh wow, this looks amazing!! My two favorite things for cookout sides are caprese salad and pasta salad, so this is right up my alley. I am pinning this right now - thanks for sharing!

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  2. basil = the best. it makes everything smell so delicious -- fresh or cooked!

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